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Thursday, 26 July 2018 08:39

Cosco's US arm hit by Windows ransomware

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The North American arm of Chinese shipping conglomerate Cosco has been hit by Windows ransomware, affecting communications at its US locations.

Both the cosco-usa.com and toll-free phone service were not working on Tuesday US time. The situation had not improved by the time of writing (8.35am AEST Thursday).

Cosco is the largest dry bulk carrier in China and one of the largest dry bulk shipping operators worldwide.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the company said: "Due to local network breakdown within our America regions, local email and network telephone cannot work properly at the moment. For safety precautions, we have shut down the connections with other regions for further investigations."

Cosco is the second shipping firm to be hit by ransomware in the last two years. Last year, the container shipping company A.P. Moller–Maersk Group was hit by Windows ransomware in June.

The Cosco statement said: "So far, all the vessels of our company are operating as normal, and our main business operation systems are performing stably. We are glad to inform you that we have taken effective measures.

"Except for above regions affected by the network problem, the business operation within all other regions will be recovered very soon.

"The business operations in the affected regions are still being carried out, and we are trying best to make a full and quick recovery. We will keep you updated of the latest progress through various channels."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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